High street access to Viagra given green light

The erectile dysfunction drug Viagra was last week made available on the high street for the first time, under a scheme launched by the pharmacy chain Alliance Boots.

Viagra will be made available in 29 stores across England and Wales. It will be dispensed without a prescription under a patient group direction (PGD), following a successful pilot trial in Manchester in 2007, involving 288 men.

The initial prescription will cost £55 with subsequent doses priced at £26.59.

Patients will only be sold the drug after completing a 30-minute consultation with a pharmacist, which includes fill-ing in a questionnaire.

Patients must also be regis-tered with a GP and must agree to their GP being informed about their Viagra use.

Previously, GPs have warned that making Viagra available on the high street would mean that fewer men would visit their GP, allowing any underlying erectile dysfunction problems to go unnoticed.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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